Girl I Left Behind (I), The [Laws P1A/B]

DESCRIPTION: Two lovers promise to be faithful. He then sets out on a voyage. Before they can be reunited, one or the other proves unfaithful. (In Laws's "A" texts, the man marries a Scottish girl and his love dies of a broken heart; in "B" texts, the girl is untrue)
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: c. 1847 (Forget-Me-Not Songster)
KEYWORDS: courting promise infidelity separation
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MA,MW,Ro,SE,So) Canada(Mar,Newf) Britain(Scotland(Aber)) Ireland Australia
REFERENCES (52 citations):
Laws P1A/B "The Girl I Left Behind"
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #83, p. 1, "The Girl I Left Behind"; #157, p. 2, "The Girl I Left Behind Me"; #88, p. 2, ("I'll stay with her and think no more On the girl I left behind") (1 text plus 2 fragments)
Greig/Duncan5 1059, "The Girl I Left Behind" (12 texts, 8 tunes)
Belden-BalladsSongsCollectedByMissourFolkloreSociety, pp. 198-200, "Peggy Walker" (3 texts)
Randolph 283, "The Girl I Left Behind" (4 texts, 1 tune. Laws assigns Randolph's A text to P1A and B, C, and D to P1B)
Randolph/Cohen-OzarkFolksongs-Abridged, pp. 101-104, "The Girl I Left Behind" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 64A)
Randolph/Legman-RollMeInYourArms I, pp. 434-440, "The Girl I Left Behind" (5 texts, 1 tune)
Brown/Belden/Hudson-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore2 145, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (5 texts plus 1 excerpt and mention of 1 more. Laws lists the "A" and B" texts as P1A and "C," "D," "F," and "G" as P1B)
Brown/Schinhan-FrankCBrownCollectionNCFolklore4 145, "The Girl I Left Behind" (1 excerpt, 1 tune)
Chappell-FolkSongsOfRoanokeAndTheAlbermarle 79, "My Parents Reared Me Tenderly" (1 text)
Moore/Moore-BalladsAndFolkSongsOfTheSouthwest 92, "The Rambling Cowboy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Thorp/Logsdon-SongsOfTheCowboys, pp. 134-135, "The Rambling Cowboy" (1 text)
Owens-TexasFolkSongs-2ed, pp. 153-154, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bronner/Eskin-FolksongAlivePart2 44, "Girl I Left Behind Me" (1 text, 1 tune)
Doerflinger-SongsOfTheSailorAndLumberman, pp. 305-206, "The Maid I Left Behind" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wyman/Brockway-LonesomeSongs-KentuckyMountains-Vol1, p. 76, "Peggy Walker" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cazden/Haufrecht/Studer-FolkSongsOfTheCatskills 39, "The Girl I Left Behind" (1 text, 1 tune)
Sharp-EnglishFolkSongsFromSouthernAppalachians 96, "My Parents Treated Me Tenderly" (6 texts, 6 tunes)
Cambiaire-EastTennesseeWestVirginiaMountainBallads, pp. 47-49, "The Girl I Left on New River" (1 text)
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H188, p. 401, "The Girl I Left Behind" (1 text, 1 tune)
Warner-TraditionalAmericanFolkSongsFromAnneAndFrankWarnerColl 148, "My Parents Raised Me Tenderly" (1 text, 1 tune)
Gardner/Chickering-BalladsAndSongsOfSouthernMichigan 28, "The Girl I Left Behind" (1 text plus mention of 1 more, 1 tune)
Dean-FlyingCloud, p. 10, "The Girl I Left Behind" (1 text)
Peters-FolkSongsOutOfWisconsin, p.115, "There Was a Rich Old Farmer" (1 text, 1 tune, rather worn-down)
Stout-FolkloreFromIowa 33, pp. 48-49, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (1 text, mostly lyric but probably derived from this)
McIntosh-FolkSongsAndSingingGamesofIllinoisOzarks, pp. 17-18, "Across the Plains of Illinois" (1 text, 1 tune, so heavily localized that it might well be considered a separate song)
Peacock, pp. 449-452, "The Girl I Left Behind" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
Creighton-MaritimeFolkSongs, pp. 76-77, "The Girl I Left Behind" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-FolksongsFromSouthernNewBrunswick 47, "Peggy Walker" (1 text, 1 tune)
Leach-FolkBalladsSongsOfLowerLabradorCoast 134, "Jennie Ferguson" (1 text, 1 tune); 138, "The Girl I Left Behind" (1 text, 1 tune)
Manny/Wilson-SongsOfMiramichi 70, "the Girl I Left Behind (Janey Ferguson)" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ryan/Small-HaulinRopeAndGaff, p. 134, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (1 text, a single stanza probably of a version rewritten for seal-hunting, but with only four lines, it can hardly be separated from the main song)
McNeil-SouthernFolkBalladsVol1, pp. 106-109, "The Broken-hearted Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
Meredith/Anderson-FolkSongsOfAustralia, p. 50, "The Rich Old Farmer" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FolkSongsOfNorthAmerica 165, "The Girl I Left Behind" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood-NewLostCityRamblersSongbook, p. 38, "The Girl I Left Behind" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fife/Fife-CowboyAndWesternSongs 62, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (2 texts, 1 tune, with the "A" text, although mixed and westernized, probably belonging here and the "B" text being the lyric piece); 63, "My Parents Raised Me Tenderly" (1 text, 1 tune)
Tinsley-HeWasSinginThisSong, pp. 200-203, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (1 text, 1 tune, a cowboy adaption)
Ohrlin-HellBoundTrain 84, "The Girl I Left in Missouri" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cox-FolkSongsSouth 85, "My Parents Reared Me Tenderly" (1 text)
Burton/Manning-EastTennesseeStateCollectionVol1, pp. 59-6-, "Maggie Walker, the Girl I Left Behind" (1 text, 1 tune)
Henry/Huntingdon/Herrmann-SamHenrysSongsOfThePeople H188, pp. 401-402, "The Girl I Left Behind" (1 text, 1 tune)
Ord-BothySongsAndBallads, pp. 45-47, "I'll Ne'er Forget the Parting" (1 text, 1 tune)
MacColl/Seeger-TravellersSongsFromEnglandAndScotland 65, "The Girl I Left Behind" (1 text, 1 tune)
Shay-AmericanSeaSongsAndChanteys, pp. 202-203, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (1 text, 1 tune)
Spaeth-ReadEmAndWeep, pp. 16-17, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wolf-AmericanSongSheets, #747, p. 49, "The GIrl I Left Behind Me" (4 references)
Forget-Me-Not-Songster, pp. 220-221, "The Maid I Left Behind" (1 text, 1 tune, which despite the title often refers to "The girl I left behind me"; it looks as if the title was changed to avoid confusion with the more lyric "The Girl I Left Behind Me" on p. 218)
Heart-Songs, pp. 66-67, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (1 text, 1 tune, beginning "The dames of France are fond and free")
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 114, "The Girl I Left Behind Me" (1 text)
Winstock-SongsAndMusicOfTheRedcoats, p. 68, "The girl I left behind me" (1 tune)
DT 338, GIRLEFT (GIRLEFT2* -- perhaps a mixed version, with the text of Laws P1 and the tune of the playparty?) GIRLLFT6*

Roud #262 and 23929
RECORDINGS:
Jules [Verne] Allen, "The Gal I Left Behind" (Victor V-40022, 1929; on WhenIWas2)
Clint Howard et al, "Maggie Walker Blues" (on Ashley02, WatsonAshley01)
Dock Boggs, "Peggy Walker" (on Boggs3, BoggsCD1)
Texas Gladden, "Always Been a Rambler" (on USTGladden01 -- a tiny fragment that might be this or almost anything)
[G. B.] Grayson & [Henry] Whitter, "I've Always Been a Rambler" (Gennett, unissued, 1928) (Victor V-40324, 1928; on GraysonWhitter01, LostProv1, ConstSor1)
Harry Jackson, "The Gal I Left Behind" (on HJackson1)
Billie Maxwell, "The Arizona Girl I Left Behind" (Victor V-40188, 1930; on MakeMe)
Pleaz Mobley, "My Parents Raised Me Tenderly" (AFS; on LC12)
Spencer Moore, "The Girl I Left Behind" (on LomaxCD1700, LomaxCD1702)
New Lost City Ramblers, "I've Always Been a Rambler" (on NLCR13, NLCRCD2)
Mrs. Clara Stevens, "The Girl I Left Behind" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Firth b.26(187), "Margaret Walker" ("My parents raised me tenderly having no child but me"), S. Russell (Birmingham), 1840-1851; also Firth b.25(478), "Margaret Walker"; Firth c.26(280), "Girl I Left Behind"; Harding B 11(2237), Firth c.14(210), "The Lover's Lament" or "The Girl I Left Behind Me"
Murray, Mu23-y1:050, "The Girl I Left Behind Me," James Lindsay (Glasgow), 19C, with the unhappy ending left off
NLScotland, L.C.1270(015), "The Girl I Left Behind Me" ("Now for America I am bound, Against my inclination"), unknown, c. 1880, with the unhappy ending left off

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Girl I Left Behind Me (III)" (tune)
SAME TUNE:
Old England Forty Years Ago (File: TPS048)
Well I Couldn't Care Less (File: Tawn032)
The Girl I Left Behind Me (by Thomas Davis) (Kathleen Hoagland, editor, One Thousand Years of Irish Poetry (New York, 1947), pp. 471-472)
A New Song on the Causes -- beginnings, events -- end -- and consequences of the late war with Great Britain ("Old England forty years ago, When we were young and tender") (Lawrence-MusicForPatriotsPoliticiansAndPresidents, p. 217)
The Girl I Left Behind Me (square dance calls) (Welsch-NebraskaPioneerLore, pp. 99-100)
The Sealer's Song (I) (File: Doyl3052)
The Girl I Left Behind Me ("I'll go to the ice and I'll catch some seals") (ADDITIONAL: James Murphy, editor, _Songs Sung by Old-TIme Sealers of Many Years Ago_, James Murphy Publishing, 1925 (PDF available from Memorial University of Newfoundland web site), p. 19)
NOTES [89 words]: In addition to this ballad form, there is a song with this title (indexed as "The Girl I Left Behind Me (lyric)"). As the two have cross-fertilized (often, e.g., sharing the latter's tune "Brighton Camp"), the reader is advised to check both songs for completeness.
The texts entitled "The Rambling Cowboy" are fairly distinct, being about the daughter of a rich old rancher who wins a cowboy's heart, but the song is still recognizably this. Presumably it was reworked by someone -- Thorp mentions an attribution to a "K. Tolliver." - RBW
Last updated in version 6.0
File: LP01

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